29 Oct

The Roman auxiliary for of Vindolanda is best known for being the home of the Vindolanda tablets, a series of thin wooden sheets whose ink inscriptions hold a wealth of information about military life in the first and second century Britain, but after 45 years of excavation under the Vindolanda Trust the site continues to yield remarkable timber finds dating back almost 2,000 years.

Recent discoveries include a well preserved pine barrel stave dating from A.D.90 which was recovered from deep in the site’s anaerobic levels. Thought to be imported from Spain, the number still bears a clear – though as – yet unidentified makers mark. The numerals MCC indicate that the barrel it came from held a quantity of 1,200 but it’s contents remain a mystery.

Excavations Director Andrew Birley, CEO of the Vindolanda Trust, said that the barrel stave has been one of the highlights of the season so far and hopes that the coming weeks further information will be known about the makers mark ALBINNORB, as images of the stave had been sent to specialists in both Spain and in the U.K. for further information. However ALBIN could mean ALBINVS, the name of the manufacturer of the barrel, and NORB is the place of origin

The team has also uncovered part of the wooden handle from a toy sword, dating back to A.D. 105 “no doubt owned by a small Tungrian, ‘Andrew commented. Non wooden highlights from the present season include numerous leather shoes, as well as a cow skull peppered with small and large holes made by arrows and ballista bolts- the team suggest that it may have been used for target practice by the Roman Garrison

The Vindolanda Trust have been working on plans for a 1.3 million pounds extension to their museum, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, specially to house and preserve wooden finds from the site

The Vindolanda Barrel Stave.

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Posted by on October 29, 2021 in Uncategorized


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